ACS Helps Plan Mammography Screening Trial

August 1, 1995

ATLANTA--The American Cancer Society's research program has awarded a $75,000 planning grant to the Union Internationale Contre le Cancer (UICC), based in Geneva, Switzerland, to study the feasibility of conducting a long-term international study on the effects of mammography in reducing breast cancer mortality in women in their 40s.

ATLANTA--The American Cancer Society's research program has awardeda $75,000 planning grant to the Union Internationale Contre leCancer (UICC), based in Geneva, Switzerland, to study the feasibilityof conducting a long-term international study on the effects ofmammography in reducing breast cancer mortality in women in their40s.

The planning grant will enable researchers to learn whether thequality of screening and levels of participation would be adequateto initiate the proposed "Eurotrial 40" population study,said Robert A. Smith, PhD, the Society's senior director of detectionand treatment.

"The planning grant is important so that the study does notsuffer from the same limitations that have plagued existing studies,such as insufficient numbers of women, less sensitive screeningprotocols, and inadequate follow-up," Dr. Smith said.

The planning phase will be directed by Dr. Marco Rosselli DelTurco, medical director of the diagnostic breast unit at the Centerfor the Study and Prevention of Breast Cancer, Florence, Italy.

If the planning process is followed by a clinical trial, the goalwould be to determine the benefits of mammography for women intheir 40s, Dr. Smith said. The proposed Eurotrial 40 would comparea group of about 85,000 women aged 40 to 42 invited to receiveperiodic screenings with a comparable group of approximately 170,000women who would not receive screening. The trial would last 10years, although researchers would follow participants until theirdeaths.

The trial would be conducted in Europe, where screening mammographyof women in their 40s is rare, rather than the United States,where mammography for this age group is more common, Dr. Smithsaid. In the United States, women might be reluctant to enrollor, if placed in the control group, might undergo screening ontheir own, he added.